Food Safety Bill Hits Snag

The sweeping food-safety legislation that passed the Senate could be held up by a procedural technicality, according to reports.

WASHINGTON — The sweeping food-safety legislation that passed the Senate on Tuesday could be held up by a procedural technicality, according to reports on Wednesday.

The Senate version of the bill reportedly contains fees that are considered tax provisions, which are supposed to originate in the House. The House passed its version last year, and was about to reconcile with the Senate version for President Obama's signature when the problem — apparently the result of a misunderstanding among Congressional floor staff — was discovered.

Although reports said some type of arrangement still might be reached to pass the bill — which has the support of several industry groups — its passage could be complicated by a pledge by Republican Senators Wednesday to block all Democrat-backed legislation not related to tax cuts or spending reduction during the lame duck session.

The $1.4 billion bill would increase funding for the Food and Drug Administration for inspections and give the agency authority to order a recall.